Last weekend was Mother's Day and it was one of the best Mother's Day I've had. Why? Because I was not only spending it with the three that make me a mom but I was also spending the day with my own mom. It was a rainy Mother's Day but we enjoyed every minute of it.
This week I have thought about Mother's Day a lot and how every mom is different and how every mom is a failure. For instance:
* I rock my babies to sleep until they don't want to be rocked anymore. You lay them in their crib until they fall asleep.
* I pick mine up the moment they cry. You let them cry 5 more minutes to see if they can work it out.
* My kids have/are all sleeping with us. You would never co-sleep with your kids.
* I have forgotten to feed my kids lunch or dinner. You have a three course meal packed with you every where you go.
* I sometimes can't remember when they last bathed. You bathe yours after every meal.
* I let my three year old drink Dr. Pepper. You would have your 3 year old's stomach pumped if he took a sip of that poison.
* I sometimes let my kids stay up late. You will beat yourself up if they are not in bed on the dot at 7:00.
* My kids sometimes have to drink out of resourceful items because I haven't done the dishes in days and there is nothing, literally nothing clean. You don't even allow a fork to lay in your sink for more than 1 minute.
I really could make this list a mile long and still we would all be failures. Failures in someone else's eyes. It doesn't matter how hard you try, how perfect you think you are doing things, someone is going to find something wrong with you. But guess what?? They see the small things. What they don't see:
*They don't see you giving your last bite of chocolate cake to the little face smiling so big at you because they want the last bite.
* They don't see you when you are up all night with a sick baby walking the floor, driving in the car, doing what you can to make them feel better.
* They don't hear the countless prayers you pray over your babies day and night.
* They don't see the tear you shed when your baby doesn't get invited to a sleep over or doesn't get picked on the playground to be played with.
* They don't see you in the car out of your baby's sight, watching to make sure they make it in the school doors because today they decided they were big enough to do it on their own.
* They don't know that McDonald's is what you could afford to do something "special" for your kiddos even though it may not be the healthiest. But hey, after all, you did lose your job and things have been tough.
* They don't see you reading a book at night before their bedtime when really you just like to be asleep yourself because you've worked a 12 hour shift just to make it for the month.
And again, this list could go on. People will always find a way to make you feel like a failure BUT YOU'RE NOT! Just because we don't parent exactly alike and do things exactly the same way, that doesn't make us bad mommies. It makes us great mommies! How boring would this world be if everyone had the same personalities??
You are a great mom! What defines a great mom? I don't know really. All I know is at the end of the day if I have done my very best and loved my three boys the best I can, then I have succeeded. When I see those three smiling faces I know I must have done something right. We will make mistakes everyday and wish we would have done things differently but that doesn't mean we've failed. Tomorrow we do better. We try something new.
Stop comparing yourself to the mom next door. She's next door. Trust me, she makes her own mistakes. They are probably different than yours, but she makes them. She does.
You can't fail when you love. And as moms, we love our kids until it hurts.